Winter Pet Safety

Brrr, it’s cold out there! Help your pets remain safe during the colder months by following these simple guidelines.

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.pet-care_cold-weather-tips_main-image
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.
  • winter-carePets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet, a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure they have plenty of water to drink will help keep your pet well-hydrated and their skin less dry.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
  • Be prepared. Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather and power outages. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.
  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

Dognapped: 5 Ways To Prevent Dog Theft

I feel pretty certain that I speak for the majority of you when I say the thought of your dog going missing is a nightmare. Even worse is the thought of someone taking her.

Did you know that all over the world, as many as 2 million dogs are stolen from their families every single day? TWO MILLION! EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

That’s a shocking statistic, especially when you consider that pet theft can be prevented. 

The 5 most popular breeds that are targeted by thieves are Yorkshire Terriers, Pit Bull mixes, Maltese, Pomeranian, and Labradors. Even if you don’t own one of these breeds, it’s still crucial to educate yourself about pet theft so that your dog doesn’t become a statistic. Take a look at this infographic…

dognapped

 

More than 50 percent of dog thefts occur right in your own home or yard. That means it’s up to you to provide a safe and secure home, and pet parents can drastically reduce the odds of their dog going missing by taking these 5 precautions:

  1. Never, ever, ever leave your dog unattended. I can’t tell you how strongly I believe this. There is absolutely no reason for your dog to ever be left alone in the yard, in a parked car, or any place where you’re not right there with her. Period.
  2. Make sure your dog has an ID tag with current and accurate information. Even if she is microchipped, an ID tag is still a must.
  3. Build a secure fence around your yard. I like a fenced yard because it provides a contained play area but again, I strongly advise never leaving your dog alone in the yard.
  4. Keep your gate locked at all times. Keeping your gate locked makes it even harder for a stranger to enter your yard. This gives added security not just for your dog, but also for your home.
  5. Keep an eye on strangers. If you see people you don’t recognize in your neighborhood, be aware of them. Report them to the police if they exhibit shady behavior. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

There you have it: these 5 ways to prevent dog theft are so simple, and losing a pet to thieves is totally preventable when we know what to look for and what to do to keep them safe.

Do you have any tips for keeping pets safe from thieves? Leave me a comment and let’s chat about it!

5 Spring Flowers that are Poisonous to Dogs


One of the things I love about Spring is the pop of color from all the beautiful flowers. Nothing quite represents a fresh start like the first flowers of Spring.

But some of Spring’s most beloved flowers are harmful – even fatal – to your dog. Do you know which flowers to avoid? Here are 5 Spring flowers that are poisonous to dogs. If these are growing in your garden, take precautions to protect your pets.

  1. Lilies. I love lilies but did you know that lilies are deadly to dogs, cats, and rabbits? The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, autumn crocus, and lily of the valley are all toxic because they contain a substance called oxalic acid, which is poisonous to pets. The deadliest part of this plant is the root.
  2. Daffodils. Such a gorgeous, happy, Spring flower is the yellow Daffodil, but it’s also deadly to pets. It’s the bulb that is the most dangerous, as it contains toxic alkaloids that cause an entire array of problems, including death.
  3. Azaleas. As pretty as they are, Azaleas are deadly to dogs because they contain a substance called grayanotoxin, which can shut down a dog’s central nervous system. Scary stuff.
  4. Morning Glory. The beautiful Morning Glory contains seeds that can be highly toxic to dogs. The seeds contain a combination of poisonous chemicals that can kill your dog.
  5. Chrysanthemum. I’m told that a little bit of this flower might not affect your dog, but who wants to take the chance? These flowers contain a substance called pyrethrins, which will cause loss of balance and lack of coordination.

My best advice for avoiding a tragic situation with any of these plants is keep an eye on your dog. Don’t assume that your dog knows what is harmful to her, because she doesn’t. All she knows is what tastes good, and we all know that what tastes good isn’t always good for us.

Animal Poison Control – 888.426.4437

I advise keeping the number near the phone in your home, as well as saving it in your cell phone contacts. The center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For a more detailed list of plants that are toxic to your pet, visit the ASPCA website

Do you know of other plants that are harmful to pets? 

Bye-Bye Bad Breath

There are many reasons why good dogs sometimes behave badly. You’ve seen many cases on Cesar Millan’s TV shows where bad behaviors in bye-bye bad breathdogs were caused or triggered by human behavior.

Cesar has dealt with a lot of these cases, including severe aggression, fear, and dominance issues. But what you might not know is that bad behavior, or a sudden change in your dog’s behavior, can be caused by undetected medical problems. For example, if your dog starts chewing on random household objects, he may be experiencing tooth pain that could be helped with regular brushing. For this, Cesar recommends the Petosan Dental Line.
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Pet Obesity: Killing With Kindness

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According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s latest veterinary survey, 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of adult cats in the United States — that’s 88.4 million pets — are classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarians.
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House Training Your Dog or Puppy

House training your dog or puppy requires far more than a few stacks of old newspapers—it calls for vigilance, patience, plenty of commitment and How-To-Potty-Train-a-Puppyabove all, consistency. The key to training your dog to eliminate outside (where you want him to) is to prevent accidents, and to reward success.
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Dog Chewing

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Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby

DTbCGMiWith baby #3 on the way, I needed to brush up on how to prepare our dog, Colt, for his arrival. I found a fantastic article on the ASPCA website that covers everything on how to plan and prepare to ensure all goes smoothly. It definitely takes some time but these helpful tips are a perfect guide to teaching your pup the skills they need to interact safely with your new family member and help your dog adjust to the many new changes ahead. 
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9 Dog Myths and Facts

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Hot Weather Pet Care Tips

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